Gabriella Then is a busy girl.
After qualifying for her third U.S. Women’s Open last week in Beaumont, Calif., the 17-year-old hopped on a plane for a cross-country trip to Roanoke, Va. Then won the girls 15-18 division at the Scott Robertson Memorial Junior on Sunday with a 54-hole total of 8-under 205.
“It’s an exhausting week,” Then said. “I’m still trying to take it in. I mean, I just did all of that in five days.”
The demanding month continues for Then. She flew back home to Rancho Cucamonga, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, just in time to make it to class Monday morning. She heads out again on Wednesday for the AJGA’s first summer invitational, the Thunderbird International Junior, which begins Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“In Virginia it was raining and it was Bermuda grass, and now I have to go back to the desert with fast greens,” Then said. “I just need to try, just hit it close.”
Friday marks Then’s third Thunderbird appearance. She shot 1-over 217 (71-75-71) and finished fifth in 2012. She finished 18th after shooting 9-over 225 (78-71-76) in 2011.
“I just want to finish ...
Gabriella Then, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., won the Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament on May 19. Then shot a first-round 66 en route to a six-shot victory at Roanoke Country Club. She is ranked No. 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. Then will attend USC in the fall.
Rafael Barnoya and Jiyoon Jang claimed titles May 19 at the Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational. Barnoya rallied from the third position on the leaderboard entering the final round, while Jang defended her lead.
Barnoya, of Guatemala City, carded two birdies and no bogeys over his final nine holes and shot a 4-under 67 in Round 2 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. His 5-under 137 total left him two shots ahead of David Snyder of McAllen, Texas.
First-round leader J.T. Rodenkirch, a Mesa native, dropped from the first-round lead to a tie for 11th. He followed an opening 68 with a 77.
“I’ve been practicing very hard getting ready for this tournament,” Barnoya said. “I’ve been waiting for this one – it’s the best win I’ve had.”
Barnoya is a student at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, and was one of four Gilchrist students to land inside the top 10 on the Golfweek leaderboard.
“Putting is the best part of my game and I was able to make some good ones today,” he said. “I made three straight birdies on the front and that’s when I knew I could win.”
In the girls ...
The inaugural Golfweek Midwest Junior Invitational will take place June 13-14 at Cog Hill Country Club’s famed Dubsdread Course near Chicago.
As part of the Golfweek Junior Invitational Series, the Midwest event will be nationally rated by the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and will be recognized by the AJGA, which is awarding eight performance stars to the winners, in addition to stars for the top 10 boys and top 5 girls.
If you are interested in playing, please send an email to Carlton Reese at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Midwest Junior Invitational joins a series of national events headlined by the East Coast Junior Invitational and the West Coast Junior Invitational. Last year, the inaugural Golfweek New England Junior Invitational was played at Blue Hill Country Club near Boston.
- Matthew Clark, Westchester, Ill.
- Conner Kuberg, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Michael Sass, Louisville, Ky.
- Ben Sattler, Liberty Township, Ohio
- Jack Goldenberg, Carmel, Ind.
- Drew Grundberg, Brentwood, Tenn.
- Nathan Pirtle, Sullivan, Ind.
- Chase Campbell, Fishers, Ind.
- Robert Canaday, Gallipolis, Ohio
- Matthew McCord, Titusville, Pa.
- Henry Hartmann, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Tyler Prentkowski, North Liberty, Ind.
- Nick Brady, Carol Stream, Ill.
- Kylie Raines, Dublin, Ohio
- Heather Ciskowski, Barrington, Ill.
- Cherise Otter, Bloomington, Ind.
- Meghan ...
Yuanru Yin shot 72-66 to win the girls 13-15 division at Quail Ridge Country Club on May 12 by four shots. In her second round, Yin’s 6-under 66, came as she made four birdies on her front nine, the back nine at Quail Ridge, and added two more on her back nine. This is Yin’s second consecutive Florida Junior Tour title.
Kristine Odaiyar of Ocala, Fla., won the Florida Junior Golf Tour event at Via Mizner Golf and Country Club on May 5. This is Odaiyar’s first win of the season and hasn’t finished worse than T-15 in four starts on the Florida Junior Golf Tour. Odaiyar shot 67-71. Her first round 3-under 67 was the low round of the tournament by three shots.
Taylor Coleman was the talk of Las Colinas after storming to the top of the leaderboard as a little-known Texas teenager. Coleman, 16, qualified for her first LPGA start, the North Texas LPGA Shootout, in a qualifier designed specifically for the top junior girls in Texas. Three days later, she was sitting among the top 10 players with a first-round 68.
Coleman burst into the spotlight so fast that we barely had time to get to know her. The 16-year-old heard about the opportunity to qualify for the LPGA event at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas from boyfriend Austin Connelly, another top junior golfer (Connelley recently won the AJGA Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship and finished T-13 at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley). Coleman submitted an application to the Nexus Club, the organization sponsoring the qualifer, and was granted an opportunity to play. She shot 1-over 72 and earned one of two spots reserved in the field.
Coleman had played a few practice rounds at Las Colinas in preparation for the event, but before that, had never played the course. She lives about 280 miles south of Irving, in San Antonio.
“It sets up good for me ...
Haley Mills, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Taylor Coleman, of San Antonio, earned spots in the North Texas LPGA Shootout via the High School Shootout.
Mills shot 1-under 70 to win, while Coleman fired a 1-over 72 at Las Colinas Country Club.
Mills and Coleman will be part of the 140-player field on Thursday when they tee it up along side the best professional golfer at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.
“I feel so honored to even have the chance to qualify for an LPGA event, it’s just awesome,” Mills said. “I didn’t think I would shoot 1-under. I was relaxed, but I got nervous the last four holes.”
“After I finish college, I want to turn professional so I’m excited to play this week,” Coleman said.
Mills broke par in her first-ever Tour qualifier as she made birdie on the final two holes. Coleman, a 16-year-old sophomore, finished T-3 at the Under Armour Hunter Mahan Championship over the weekend before playing in the qualifier.
Sierra Sims of Austin, Texas, won the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship on April 21 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. She shot rounds of 71-70 to record a five-shot victory over second-place Maddie Szeryk. Sims won the title in 2012, too.
Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, shot two consecutive 69s at TPC Craig Ranch to win the AJGA’s Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship on April 21. George Cunningham and Corbin Kasten both shot 70-71 to finish second.
Connelly is No. 34 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings and No. 6 in the Class of 2016. He had just one bogey in the second round, at the second hole. He made birdies on Nos. 5, 7, 11 and 14. He was the co-leader after the first round.
“I hit a lot of greens and made a couple of dagger putts out there,” Connelly said. “It was especially nice to birdie No. 14 today after doubling it yesterday.”
Sierra Sims of Austin, Texas, shot a final-round 70 to win the girls’ title with a 3-under 141. It was her second consecutive win in the event. Sims, who started the day with a one-shot lead, made her first birdie of the day on the par-4 third hole. She added two more throughout the day, including No. 18.
“I didn't know whether I was leading or not,” said Sims, No. 23 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings. “So it was really nice to ...
Much attention was on Augusta National this past week, including that of some of the top junior golfers in the country. Here is some of the Masters reaction from golf's younger generation on Twitter.
First, juniors sounded off the Tiger Woods' penalty:
• Bethany Wu, @bethwuuuuu: Another penalty?! Seriously? i would never wanna wake up to be told that i got 2 stroke penalty #TheMasters
• Brad Dalke, @BradDalkeGolf: Crazy though how a player that has worked his whole life on his game doesn't know a simple rule like that. Rules are a part of the game too
Then one golfer showed his support for Angel Cabrera after Cabrera sent the tournament to a playoff:
• Jack Maguire, @JMAJ94: He doesn't always show up, but when he does he wins #Angelissuchaballer nobody can do what he does #nobody
But in the end it was Adam Scott wearing the green jacket. Scott was a popular champion according to Twitter:
• Andy Zhang, @AndyTheZhang: Ladies and gents I give Adam Scott!!! #unbelievable #awesome #wow
• Kendrick Vinar, @kjrvinar: What an incredible Masters. Congratulations to Adam Scott on the win, especially after last year's British Open. Classy response by Cabrera.
• Sierra Sims, @sies07: SO ...
The 40th annual Pepsi Titan Little People’s Golf Championships will take place June 17-19 in Quincy, Ill.
The tournament is for golfers ages 3-17, with boys and girls each divided into seven age divisions.
The Pepsi Titan LP Collegiate Golf Championships for men and women will also take place at Western Illinois University’s Harry Mussatto Golf Course in Macomb, Ill. Ages 18-22 are allowed to participate.
Before the tournament begins, an optional nine-hole, alternate-shot parent-child event will take place June 16. After the tournament two international team events will be held June 20.
Little People’s tournament started in 1974 on a nine-hole course in Quincy; in 2000, the tournament hosted a record number of participants. Little People’s have hosted PGA Tour stars such as Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson, Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton, D.A. Points, Dicky Pride and Luke Guthrie.
I just spent 10 days in Rancho Mirage, Calif. playing the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club. The whole experience was a career highlight for me.
I started the week off playing a couple of practice rounds by myself because my caddie (LPGA winner Barb Mucha) could not get there until Sunday night. It was good because it allowed me to get adjusted to the time zone and get a feel for the course on my own. I was worried about who I was going to play with but I found out that most players just do their own thing during the practice days.
The first round started a little shaky with bogeys on 1 and 2. I tried to stick to my plan of playing one shot at a time and I was able to settle down and make some pars. I hit a good approach into 7 and made a 5 footer for birdie and chipped in for birdie on 8 to get back to even. On the back 9, I managed to make 3 more birdies along with 2 bogeys for a 1 under 71. Being tied for 17th after the first round ...
One of five amateurs to make the cut at the Kraft Nasbico Championship, Ashlan Ramsey, of Milledgeville, Ga., shot 71-75-73-71 for a 2-over total. She finished T-48 at Mission Hills CC. The only other junior to make the cut was 14-year-old Angel Yin, who finished at 5 over. Ramsey will play for Clemson University in the fall.
AUGUSTA, Ga. In hopes of growing the game, the Masters Tournament Foundation, the PGA of America and the U.S. Golf Association announced in early April the formation of the Drive Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National.
Registration closes April 30 for the free competition, which will test the skill of juniors ages 7-15 – with the finals culminating at Augusta National on the Sunday before the Masters.
“Generations of players have been inspired by the dream of sinking a winning putt on the 18th green at Augusta National,” said Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Foundation. “Now an exciting opportunity exists to make that dream a reality. I am confident that our collective efforts with the USGA and the PGA of America will showcase the talents of kids who already play this game and motivate others to give the sport a try.”
Local qualifiers will take place in 19 states and the District of Columbia, leading to 11 regional qualifiers.
The final 88 players will be invited to the finals at Augusta National next April.
“It is our collective hope and belief that this quest to make it to Augusta National will become the ...
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